Estimating the cost of traffic congestion in Nairobi (Langata) to the Kenyan economy
This paper tells us what traffic congestion is, its severity in Kenya, specifically Nairobi, and its cost to the Kenyan economy. Traffic congestion affects many sectors in many different ways, and also imposes a cost on all of these sectors either directly or indirectly. In this paper, we are specifically focusing on the economic costs that traffic congestion imposes. It highlights the different ways in which statistics and mathematical computations can be used to estimate the cost of traffic and the factors that affect it. It also tells us the causes of this traffic congestion and how these can be reduced, and the advantages of reduced traffic congestion. In 2014, it was estimated that traffic in Nairobi costs $570,000 per day. This is a significant amount and can be used productively elsewhere. One of the main reasons of this congestion is seen to be the ever expanding population and hence the increase in the number of vehicles growing at a higher rate than the road capacity. The population in Nairobi has grown from 350,000 in 1963 to about 3.3 million. The number of vehicles in Nairobi was estimated at over 300,000 in 2008. In the same period, there has been limited increase in the existing road infrastructure capacity. (LIVINGINNAIROBI, 2011) This shows us that the problem is one that cannot be ignored and therefore, this problem needs to be tackled as soon as possible. In this paper we will look at the current method used to calculate these traffic costs and the limitations of the current method, and a proposed method that is used to calculate traffic congestion in countries like Pakistan and Netherlands and which has not yet been used in Nairobi.